Sen. Mark Udall is proposing that Democrats and Republicans sit together at President Obama's State of the Union address as a practical first step toward more civil political discourse.
That’s what Sen. Mark Udall (D) of Colorado is proposing. On Wednesday he called for ending the tradition whereby Democrats sit on one side of an aisle in the House chamber, where the speech occurs, while GOP members of Congress sit on the other.
In the wake of the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords many lawmakers are calling for more civil US political discourse. Sitting together might be a practical first step toward that goal, according to Senator Udall.
The traditional partisan seating divide is a “negative symbol of the divisions in Congress,” he said.
“Maybe not having a physical aisle separate us would be a good thing as we talk about the state of our Union,” said Gibbs.
Will this actually happen? It’s possible. But by making the proposition himself, Udall makes the idea seem, well, Democratic, with a capital “D.” His chances of actually getting lawmakers to cross the aisle might have been better if he had convinced a Republican to make the proposal with him.